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Holding Ground is at once a cautionary tale of urban policies gone wrong and a message of hope for all American cities. In 1985, African-American, Latino, Cape Verdean, and European-American residents in Roxbury, MA united to revitalize their community. The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative went on to gain national recognition as residents fought to close down illegal dumps, gain unprecedented control of land from City Hall and create a comprehensive plan to rebuild the fabric of their community. Through the voices of committed residents, activists and city officials, this moving documentary shows how a Boston neighborhood was able to create and carry out its own agenda for change.
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"This terrific documentary--at once a moving history and a hopeful battle-cry--tells the story of a grassroots struggle to revitalize an urban neighborhood abandoned by America. The model of inter-ethnic solidarity and effective activism it presents will come like rain in a dry season to communities all over the nation." Jonathan Kozol, author Author, Death at an Early Age and Amazing Grace
"Holding Ground powerfully captures the high moments and the drudgery of rebuilding communities. The producers have brought a strong and creative touch to their work that will leave the audience with engaging portraits of activists and doers who refuse to give in and do prevail. We come away not only with good stories, but hope. Well done." Henry Hampton Executive Producer and Creator, Eyes on the Prize
"A terrific story and a great organizing tool. Not only do we see the story unfold over a long period of time, but it is told from the point of view of the people who really did the job." Gordon Quinn Executive Producer, Hoop Dreams
"I was left with a profound sense of hope." Gloria Rubio-Cortes Vice President, National Civic League
"Through grass-roots sweat and tears, a group of ordinary people not only fight City Hall, but also persuade it to champion their stubbornly independent, neighborhood-driven approach to urban renewal...[Holding Ground] has cumulative human power and, at the end, an inspirational image of what the neighborhood was and what, with toil and pride, it is becoming." John Koch The Boston Globe
Mark Lipman Mark Lipman has worked as a documentary filmmaker for over twenty years, exploring a wide range of subjects from domestic violence to human sexuality to affordable housing and community organizing. His films have been broadcast nationally on public television and won numerous awards.Mr. Lipman has also produced media for public interest groups throughout New England and has worked as a freelance editor at WGBH and other Boston-area companies. Most recently, he has made videotapes for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum documenting the creation of new artwork by internationally renowned artists-in-residence.He has taught production and editing workshops for young people and adults and recently completed an MFA in filmmaking at the Massachusetts College of Art in conjunction with the completion of his most recent film, Father's Day. He has been an active member of New Day Films since 1981.
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